Asia Foundation launches Let’s Read Project in Myanmar

Let’s Read is an initiative by the Asia Foundation to bring the joy of reading to children across Asia who otherwise do not have easy access to books. In many parts of the world “book scarcity” is a major obstacle to social development and literacy because young children who might otherwise learn to read simply Read More …

Big Bad Wolf returns to Sri Lanka in October with 1.5 million books

Details are sparse at this point, but Big Bad Wolf will be returning to Sri Lanka for its third year, taking 1.5 million English-language books to Colombo. Already this year Big Bad Wolf has put on over 20 of its massive book sales, selling million of books to millions of eager visitors. 25 million books Read More …

India’s Madurai Book Fair expects 300,000 visitors to buy 1.5 million books. Just another quiet India book fair…

The 14th annual Madurai Book fair is underway in India, running through until September 9. Organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPSI) this year’s fair has over 250 stalls, of which 149 are devoted to Tamil books and 67 to English titles, with seven multimedia stalls. The Times of India reports that Read More …

With a week to go, the Nepal International Book Fair is cancelled due to tax hike on imported books

It was to have been the 23rd Nepal International Book Fair, running August 14 to 30. Now it won’t run at all. Amid protests at a government levy of 10% on imported books, supposedly to protect the domestic publishing industry and encourage reading, publishing houses and booksellers have been unable to affordably buy enough books Read More …

The India book market remains “a giant in slumber” as new taxes hit imports amid rising paper prices

In an ill-considered move aimed at protecting the domestic publishing industry, the Indian government has imposed a 5% tax on imported paper books. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the new duties on Friday (domestic print books remain zero-rated) to a dismayed audience of publishers and publishing stakeholders. The tax on uncoated and lightweight paper was Read More …

Big Bad Wolf heads to Mandalay, taking its total to 2 million English-language books to Myanmar so far this year

If we ever wanted a barometer of interest in English-language books in countries English-language publishers are indifferent to, we need look no further than Big Bad Wolf. From May 31 through June 10, with a preview day on May 30, Big Bad Wolf will be piling up one million English language books in Mandalay. Mandalay? Read More …

New competition in the India ebook space as telco Bharti Airtel launches ebook store for smartphones

This week the Indian telco giant Bharti Airtel finally launched its long-anticipated ebook store Airtel Books. Long anticipated? In fact Bharti Airtel signaled its intentions back in December 2017 when it bought into the digital-focussed Indian publisher Juggernaut Books. Bharti Airtel acquires strategic stake in Juggernaut Books So no surprise that the launch this week Read More …

StreetLib publishing portals now reach half the world. Makes a $5 bn African publishing market valuation for 2025

Italy-based digital books distributor and publishing facilitator StreetLib has completed the fourth stage of its global roll-out with all of the Middle East and South Asia enfranchised. The company now offers an author and publisher portal for literally half the world. Full disclosure: The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) is published by StreetLib to further the Read More …

India’s Kerala Lit Fest numbers confirmed: 260,000 visitors in January

By Indian standards a quarter million visitors to a book festival is actually not that amazing. Some Indian book fairs can attract eight times that figure. But this was only the third incarnation of the Kerala Literature Festival and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the final visitor count, which comes this week via the bi-monthly Indian Read More …

Bangladesh Amar Ekushey Boi Mela just misses $10 million in book sales despite floods and chaos

It was touch and go whether the national book fair of Bangladesh, the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, could keep up its growth as severe weather flooded the grounds, damaged books and deterred visitors. Even with a two day extension to make up for some of the lost time it seemed improbable we were going to Read More …

Call for Ekushey Boi Mela to be place under control of Bangladeshi publishers guilds

If the final numbers for the month long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela actually compared favourably with last year – a remarkable feat given the weather – still there is much dissatisfaction with the way the Bangla Academy has handled things. Now Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury has said it is time for a change. Noting Read More …

$5m book sales and 5m visitors already, and still India’s book fairs line up. The 37th Agartala Book Fair is underway

East India’s second biggest book fair after Kolkata is underway in Tripura as the India love affair with books continues. As reported here a few days ago, already over 5 million people have visited Indian book fairs this year, spending the USD equivalent of over $5 million, and there’s no sign the appetite for books Read More …

Over 5 million visitors spend over $5 million at India’s 2019 book fairs. And we’re only halfway through February

India’s Kolkata International Book Fair wound up earlier this week and the numbers are in: 2.3 million visitors spent 230 million rupees (US$ 3.2 million) on books in twelve days. Given the price of books in India the volume must have been huge. This just weeks after 900,000 turned out to the New Delhi World Book Read More …

India’s Kolkata International Book Fair sees 700,000 spend $1.1 million in first five days, despite free ebooks available

“Book fair rakes in Rs 8 crore with 7 lakh footfall ” is the headline in the Times of India this week, reporting on the first five days of the Kolkata International Book Fair. The Indian notation equates to 700,000 visitors at the event up until Monday, spending over 80 million rupees ($1.1 million) on Read More …

Bangladesh’s month-long national book fair “to be bigger than ever” this year. Publishers promote on social media while ebook retailers look the other way

When one thinks of the worlds biggest book fairs its unlikely Bangladesh is on the list of prime candidates, but in fact the annual Amar Ekushey Boi Mela in Dhaka is well up there in the running, not least for its duration. The boi mela lasts the entire month of February. The annual book festival Read More …

Kindle’s Islamabad Children Literature Festival concludes in Pakistan, but no, it was nothing to do with Amazon

When we in the west hear the word kindle we immediately think of ebooks and reading.  After ten years in which Kindle has become as synonymous with e-readers as Hoover has with vacuum cleaners that’s a natural association. So when someone tipped me off that Amazon was involved in a children’s book fair in Pakistan, Read More …

India’s New Delhi World Book Fair disappointed with only 900,000 visitors

It was never going to be a record-breaking year for the 27th New Delhi World Book Fair. Like the imminent Cairo International Book Fair this year, the New Delhi venue is undergoing substantive renovation. But while In Egypt they simply moved the event to another venue, in India they chose to hold the fair around Read More …

Looking Ahead: The Manila International Book Fair September 2019

I frequently hear from TNPS readers that they wish they’d known about a particular book fair, festival or other literary event and its background in advance so they could have attended, or organised something on social media to mark the occasion. So this will be the first of an occasional series looking at events well Read More …

India’s Chennai Book Fair a “huge success”, with over 800,000 visitors at halfway mark and another 1 million expected before close

The Chennai Book Fair set a new record of 1.2 million visitors last year and now looks set to just miss its ambitious 2 million target for 2019. India’s Chennai Book Fair sets the pace for 2019, extends duration and aims for 2 million visitors in January On Monday alone, reports New Indian Express, 60,000 Read More …

Pakistan to launch Adab Festival to the diversity and beauty of Pakistani languages. Anticipates 200,000 for debut event

Pakistan’s Government House will become an open house for three days starting February 1 as the country’s first Adab Festival launches. Co-founder and co-director Ameena Saiyid wants to provide, artists, writers and poets with a platform to exchange ideas and engage in healthy debates (adding) It’s also important to introduce new writers and poets to Read More …